Cooler Master Pi Case 40 review, almost the best!

Cooler Master Pi Case 40 review, almost the best!
Cooler Master has created a decidedly interesting accessory for the community's most loved Single Board Computer, the Raspberry Pi 4. Pi Case 40 is a durable carrying case that can also be used to transform the Raspberry into a full-fledged desktop PC. thanks to the VESA mounting system included in the sales package.

In addition to protecting the handyman board from shocks, Cooler Master Pi Case 40 aims to keep temperatures under control with a passive dissipation system designed to -hoc from the company. The fact that the case has a programmable button is interesting and the software created by the company as a support is a pleasant surprise. How will it fare once it gets to work?

Materials and design

Cooler Master Pi Case 40 is a real tank. The case measuring 96 x 68.2 x 28.58 mm is made for the most part of quality aluminum with a Gun Metal Gray color and is protected by a black TPU bumper that helps absorb shock in the event of a fall .

As much as I fell in love with the look and build quality of this case, I'm not a fan of the shiny tag that recalls the shapes of the brand logo. I would have preferred that the company had inserted its name, perhaps by screen printing it or even with a simple sticker. As it is, it almost seems that during the production phase someone forgot to finish the processing of the logo.

The part of the aluminum body, which, as we will see later, is used to dissipate the heat produced by the Raspberry during operation, it is decidedly massive and relies heavily on the total weight of 150g of the accessory. Once everything is assembled, the Mini PC could easily be mistaken for a power bank due to its weight and size.

The base was made by Cooler Master in semi-transparent black plastic and is meant to be replaced with 3D printed custom parts. The rubber feet keep the case firmly anchored to the various surfaces.

The ports of the Raspberry Pi 4 are always easily accessible and the protective rubber that surrounds them does not hinder the connection of any type of cable or accessory. The only exception to be made concerns the MIPI DSI sockets for display and camera: the cables of these accessories must be connected to the ports before closing the case and must be passed outwards through a special slot.

However, it is nice to note that Cooler Master has also thought about connecting these accessories by providing a way for the flat cables to pass through. Pi Case 40 leaves the two Raspberry Pi 4 power and memory use LEDs visible.

The MicroSD reader is easily accessible by lifting the protective rubber cap that prevents the card from being lost. Another rubber door that can be opened if necessary is found on the side of the Pi Case 40 and is used to protect the passthrough connections for the GPIO interface of Raspberrry Pi 4.

Cooler Master's idea of ​​making it accessible The GPIO pins of the Raspberry Pi from the side of the case are good but unfortunately only allows the connection and use of single jumpers. Why? The two columns of pins are inverted with respect to the original layout of the board and this means that direct connection of HAT accessories is not possible.

The pinouts are however indicated on the case to avoid any confusion.


The insertion of the Raspberry Pi into the Cooler Master case takes place in a few steps. First, place one of the two thermal pads included in the package on the metal part of the case that will make contact with the CPU (I recommend that you remove the plastic films first!).

The second step is perhaps the slightly more complex one: you have to connect the GPIO pins of the board to the appropriate socket on the case trying not to bend them, while at the same time you have to find a way to fit the USB and Ethernet ports of the Raspberry in their place.

It is not impossible but you have to be very careful not to damage the card during the procedure as a slight pressure must be applied.

Finally, the base must be inserted and locked, making sure that the Mini HDMI ports , USB Type-C and 3.5mm jack are properly accessible from the outside.

Assembly is therefore largely tool-less. The only tool you need is a very small hex key needed to tighten the four screws that will hold everything firmly together, which is included in the case package.

In case you want to use the VESA mount that Cooler Master has prepared for connecting the Pi Case 40 to the back of a monitor, you will have to position the four plastic brackets before inserting the screws that complete the mounting.

Software, customization and temperatures

Cooler Master Pi Case 40 includes a button that you can use as you see fit.

If you are using Raspberry Pi OS or any other Debian-based distribution, though, you can download and install the Cooler Master Pi Tool software following the procedure found on the official website of the product. This makes customizing the button functions much easier than writing code with your own hands.

The installation will set up a Cooler Master wallpaper but don't worry as you can then change it at will.

From Pi Tool it is possible to program macros starting from any combination and number of rapid or long presses of the button. In addition to shutting down or restarting the Raspberry Pi, for example, you can also open specific web pages or run your own scripts.

The software created by Cooler Master is simple and goes straight to the point. It allows you to view up to four graphs that show real-time temperature, frequency, CPU workload as well as the amount of RAM occupied.

Speaking of frequency, Pi Tool also allows overclocking the Raspberry Pi 10 %, 20% or 30% in a single click. During my testing period I was able to quietly get my Raspberry's CPU to nearly 2GHz with no problems at the most extreme setting, while the case took care of the excess CPU heat dissipation.

All 'power on and in idle the CPU temperatures have always remained below 50 ° while during the download and installation of system updates the temperature reached about 55 °. With the maximum overclock and after a few hours of use for web browsing the maximum value that I could see recorded in Pi Tool was about 60 °, in my opinion a more than acceptable result.

Being the part in aluminum of the Pi Case 40 to act as a heatsink it is normal that it too heats up together with the CPU dell'SBC. Temperatures are never reached so high that it is impossible to touch the case, however it is a factor to keep in mind and it is perfectly normal behavior.


Cooler Master Pi Case 40 does exactly what it promises: protects your Raspberry Pi and keeps it cool enough to prevent throttling due to too high temperatures.

The quality of the materials is of a high standard, the assembly procedure is relatively easy and suitable even to less practical users. The programmable button is especially handy if you are using the Raspberry as a desktop PC, although I would have liked it to also be used for system startup and not just for shutdown or restart.

Pi Tool software doesn't nothing ever seen before, however it works well and allows even the less experienced to indulge themselves with a pinch of overclocking while keeping system statistics always under control.

The 23.00 euros that Cooler Master asks on his Kickstarter page they are certainly justified by the quality of the product that is delivered. The inability to use HAT accessories with this case is the only real problem we found in the Pi Case 40 and that we would like the Cooler Master to solve in an upcoming version.

The Cooler Master Pi Case 40 is, for today, the best case for those who use the Raspberry Pi as a small server or mini PC. For this reason, we give him our award.

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